The Nature of Money
Geoffrey K. InghamISBN: 074560997X; 9780745609973;
Mainstream economics fails to grasp the specific nature of money. It is seen either as a ?neutral veil? over the operation of the ?real? economy or alternatively as a ?thing? ? a special commodity. In this important new book, Geoffrey Ingham draws on neglected traditions in the social sciences to develop a theory of the ?social relation? of money. Money consists in socially and politically constructed ?promises to pay?. This approach is then applied to a range of important historical and analytical questions. The historical origins of money, the ?cashless? monetary systems of the ancient Near Eastern empires, the pre-capitalist coinage systems of Greece and Rome, and the emergence of capitalist credit-money are all given new interpretations. Capitalism?s distinctiveness is to befound in the social structure ? comprising complex linkages between firms, banks and states ? by which private debts are...